We had a chance to sit down and talk digital marketing with Stephanie Chen, team lead from our Managed Services department. She provides a unique behind-the-scenes view of search advertising.
Q: Could you explain your role here at ChannelAdvisor?
A: Sure! I lead a high-energy team of campaign managers who drive revenue growth and maximize profitability through paid search marketing. We work with a portfolio of e-commerce clients on our Digital Marketing Managed Services team. We create and execute strategies to meet and exceed our clients' paid search goals by using best practices, leveraging our software and testing new features to continuously improve.
There’s never a dull moment: Our clients and industries are very diverse — everything from apparel to automotive — not to mention that the digital marketing landscape is changing by the minute. It's exciting to explore new opportunities and overcome challenges every day.
Q: What are three Google AdWords best practices you’d suggest to retailers?
Despite new advancements, it's still all about the fundamentals. As you’re building out your account, I always recommend thinking like a potential customer. Then ask yourself, How can I make it as easy as possible for someone who's searching for what I sell to find me and then purchase from me?
The overwhelming majority of our clients experience heavy seasonality, for Q4 at a minimum. If you have historical data, it's extremely important to review trends and top-performing keywords from the previous year and make sure they're in good shape (i.e., active and visible) going into high season.
Remarketing Lists for Search, Enhanced Sitelinks and Merchant Promotions are some of the "biggest bang for your buck" features in terms of time they take to implement and how big of an impact they can make — please test these!
Q: Can you briefly explain the three features you just mentioned in your last best practice?
A: Of course!
Google Remarketing Lists for Search allow you to layer audience lists with search campaigns so that you can take advantage of valuable user traffic that’s already familiar with your brand. You’re able to leverage bid multipliers or even different ads.
Enhanced Sitelinks are the mother of real estate when it comes to taking up space at the top of the search engine results page (SERP). Think of Enhanced Sitelinks as giving you the ability to add two to four "mini ads" along with your main ad.
Merchant Promotions are effective at differentiating your Product Listing Ads (PLAs) from competition, showcasing unique offers and increasing your click-through-rates.
Q: Google is rolling out Enhanced CPC bidding for PLAs this week. How does this affect PLAs, and what does it mean for retailers?
A: I love it when Google comes out with a juicy new feature to test! Enhanced CPC (eCPC) bidding has long been available for campaigns other than PLAs. This bidding feature uses historical conversion data (so make sure you're using AdWords conversion tracking) and other factors, and attempts to gauge when a conversion is more likely. It will then increase your bid by up to 30% to be more competitive for the click. Conversely, it also tries to gauge when the conversion is less likely to happen — and will decrease your bid by up to 30% so that you'll pay less for less valuable clicks.
What other factors does Google look at? Some examples are a user's location, time of day, how many times you've watched the goats yelling like humans video, etc. In all seriousness, it does take the actual query into account, which is a big deal for advertisers since it's long been a pain point that we can't actively bid on keywords for PLAs. As always with new features, our team is testing eCPC bidding on PLAs for select accounts and will be measuring the impact — findings to come soon!
Interested in learning more about paid search? Check out our Tip Sheet, Energize Your Paid Search: 12 Top Tips For Boosting Your Strategy.